What Happens When Pokémon GO Meets A Chromebook

Here’s what happens when you’re so besotted with a video game that staying away from it even for a few hours is just not an option. Or maybe it’s just what gamers and tech geeks do, but whatever be the case, folks over at VentureBeat recently tried to find out if Niantic’s latest offering, Pokémon GO, would run on a Chromebook. The game has only recently been released on Android and iOS, and has already gained an immense fan-following, but is only meant for mobile platforms because of its dependence on location services like GPS. That, however, did not stop at least one enterprising tech journalist at the aforementioned publication from seeing if it can be run on his colleague’s ASUS Chromebook Flip (2015 edition).

Those looking to try out Pokémon GO on their Chromebooks need to keep one important thing in mind, though. The game can only be installed on some Chromebooks, but not all. For the game to run on your Chromebook, it should be Google Play-compatible and have the ability to run Android apps natively without any simulator. The Chromebook Flip from ASUS is one such device, meaning the game downloaded and installed on it just fine. However, what emerged from the experiment was that even though it is technically feasible to play the game on the Chromebook Flip, the experience was far from ideal, seeing as location data is central to the game and Chromebooks do not typically have any built-in GPS receiver.

However, in the absence of GPS, Pokémon GO can locate players using the Wi-Fi network they’re connected to. So while that bit can be sorted out, the augmented reality (AR) aspect of the game, so integral to the whole Pokémon GO experience, simply do not work without the presence of accelerometers or rear-facing cameras on Chromebooks. However, once AR is turned off, the gameplay works fine for the most part with a few glitches here or there; and yes, you can still catch Pokémons by throwing Pokéballs and apparently, you can also use incense to attract them just like you would on your smartphone. So all said and done, playing Pokémon GO on Chromebooks may be a fun way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon, but it doesn't come with all the features that are accessible on smartphones; mainly because of hardware limitations than anything else.

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Kishalaya Kundu

Senior Staff Writer
I've always been a tech buff and have been building my own PCs since as far back as I can remember. My first computer was a home-built desktop running MS-DOS on which I learnt to program in GW-BASIC and my interests apart from technology include automobiles and sports.